MonsterTalk
Presented by SKEPTIC magazine, MonsterTalk is a free audio podcast that critically examines the science behind cryptozoological (and legendary) creatures, such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, or werewolves.
 
A Bestiary of Creatures

Author Christopher Dell has collected an astonishing array of art from around the world depicting many obscure and mysterious creatures in his new book Monsters: A Bestiary of Devils, Demons, Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Magical Creatures.

Christopher Dell joins the MonsterTalk crew to discuss why humans are so fascinated by these bizarre entities.

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Direct download: 028_Monstertalk.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Late in the 1960s, in the era which gave us the famous Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film, fairgoers in Minnesota were confronted with a marvel: a hairy, primitive-looking humanoid frozen in a block of ice. Was it an anthropological relic? Was it a sasquatch?

As investigators from the Smithsonian Institute and cryptozoological researchers studied the frozen creature, they came to very different conclusions as to what it represented. The MonsterTalk hosts interview Bigfoot researcher and former side-show performer Matt Crowley — and try to crack the case of The Minnesota Iceman.

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Direct download: 027_Monstertalk.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

This week on MonsterTalk, author Stephen Asma (Professor of Philosophy at Columbia College Chicago) speaks about his comprehensive book surveying Western monster-lore.

Is humankind’s fascination with monsters broader than any single cause? Asma’s On Monsters examines hundreds of legends — and their cultural, psychological and social implications.

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Direct download: 026_Monstertalk.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

In the pantheon of American monsters, only one truly dominated the newspapers of the 1990s. Checkout lines everywhere were haunted by the bald-headed, wide-mawed visage of Bat Boy.

What was Bat Boy, and where did he come from? The MonsterTalk team interviews cartoonist Tye Bourdony, a former employee of the Weekly World News. Bourdony shares his insights about Bat Boy and the rise and fall of the famous tabloid paper.

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Direct download: 025_Monstertalk.mp3
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Dragon*Con's Skeptrack 2010

THIS WEEK’S EPISODE was recorded before a live studio audience at Dragon*Con’s Skeptrack 2010 (in Atlanta, Georgia).

MonsterTalk hosts Ben Radford and Blake Smith bravely faced the horror of live questions from listeners — including Australian skeptical activist Dr. Rachael Dunlop, Skeptoid’s Brian Dunning, and others!

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Direct download: 024_Monstertalk.mp3
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Just Scratching the Surface

MonsterTalk frequently explores tales of imaginary monsters — creatures of myth, fiction, and folklore.

Today, the hosts consider a real creature, one that preys on humans and their closest animal companions. It is often invisible. It drinks blood to survive. And, it is responsible for many of the sightings of the dreaded chupacabra.

Podcast audiences may cringe and recoil in horror to learn the true facts of the creature known as — Sarcoptes scabiei!

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Direct download: 023_Monstertalk.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

This week, MonsterTalk continues its discussion of the intersection between science and cryptozoology. The hosts interview Dr. Donald Prothero and Daniel Loxton, who are working on a book that will give a deep overview of the field of cryptozoology and how it intersects with actual science. This interview was recorded at The Amaz!ng Meeting 8 in Las Vegas.

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Direct download: 022_Monstertalk.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Cryptozoology & Science: Part 1

What is cryptozoology? Is it science? Is it folklore? Does it make predictions?

In part 1 of a 2-part series, MonsterTalk examines cryptozoology as a field, including speculation on the cryptids most likely to turn out to be real. Guest Dr. Darren Naish, paleontologist and science blogger, makes some surprising statements about the field, its role in science and culture, and the intersection of amateur and professional science.

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Direct download: 021_Monstertalk.mp3
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The Columbus Poltergeist (featuring James Randi)

In 1984, objects began to fly around the room in the presence of a Columbus Ohio teen named Tina Resch. The local paper claimed this was a poltergeist attack, and published photos to prove it.

Tina’s story caught the attention of a young organization called the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal [CSICOP, now Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI)] and its chief investigator, James “The Amazing” Randi. In this episode, Randi tells the MonsterTalk hosts about the outcome of this case — and shares his personal views about the unfortunate impact it may have had on Tina’s life.

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Direct download: 020_Monstertalk.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Cthulhu Rises

In this special literary edition, MonsterTalk ventures into a dark domain that can be confidently called fiction: the monstrous, genre-defining oeuvre of horror writer Howard Philips Lovecraft. Joined by noted Lovecraft scholar Robert M. Price and biologist PZ Myers, the MonsterTalk hosts discuss Lovecraft’s life and works, and dare to confront his most famous creation: the vast alien monstrosity Cthulhu. Can the hosts gaze into the shrieking outer darkness and return with their sanity intact? Find out on this episode of MonsterTalk!

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Direct download: 019_Monstertalk.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:00am EDT